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Beto’s $69 Million Senate Race Couldn’t Take Down Cruz

The Associated Press
AP Photo/Eric Gay
PENNY STARR

Texans reelected Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), handing a loss to Democrat Beto O’Rourke, but it wasn’t because the leftist candidate lacked funding.

Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, who has served in the House since 2013, raised the most money in a Senate race in the 2018 midterms, raking in more than $69 million.

The only other Senate race that came close was former Republican Florida governor Rick Scott, who successfully bid to replace longtime Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), spending $68.6 million, according to a New Republic campaign funding compilation.

Nelson is calling for a recount in the race, which resulted in Scott getting 50.2 percent of the vote compared to Nelson’s 49.8 percent.

O’Rourke boasted about his small donors’ campaign, but he did receive some large donations, including $365,312 from the University of Texas, $227,024 from leftist Google’s Alphabet, Inc., $139,734 from George Soros-funded J Street, $131,404 from the University of California, and $117,104 from AT&T Inc., according to Open Secrets.

The small donations ($200 or less) totaled $31,881,547 or 45.48 of funds raised.

According to Open Secrets, O’Rourke still had $10,336,213 “cash on hand,” after spending $59,162,289 on his failed campaign.   

Some other funding statistics from Open Secrets about who donated to O’Rourke’s campaign.         

  • $8,816,257 from Democrats/Liberals
  • $3,118,522 from “retired”
  • $3,036,592 from lawyers
  • $2,608,159 education
  • $1,317,436 health professionals

The funding breakdown also reveals O’Rourke did not spend any of his own money on his campaign.

Open Secrets notes: “The organizations themselves did not donate, rather the money came from the organizations’ PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals’ immediate families. Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.”

The four other most expensive campaigns — amounting to less than half of O’Rourke’s bounty — were that of Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who lost to Republican Josh Hawley and raised $32.9 million; Republican Bob Hugin, who lost to incumbent Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and raised $30.2 million; and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who raised $29.8 million and defeated O’Rourke.

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